Memorial Road bridge

Past the Creek Turnpike, the nearest bridge crosses the Arkansas River 5.5 miles downstream at Memorial Drive. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

Michael Overall’s commentary supporting bridge development in south Tulsa is based on commercial development the bridge would encourage (“Why south Tulsa needs a bridge, and soon,” July 1).

This favors commercial development over the quality of life in our residential neighborhoods.

When my wife and I decided to build a new home, we chose a far south Tulsa neighborhood because of the residential character of the area and the quality of life such a setting provides.

The number of restaurants, fast-food establishments and other commercial locations within a radius of our new home was not a factor we considered. The absence of these elements attracted us.

Through the years, the residential population in far south Tulsa has increased and existing roads have not been upgraded to handle the additional traffic.

We should not even consider a bridge until road capacity is addressed. The bridge will dump multiple lanes of traffic, which includes thousands of additional vehicles, onto two lane roads that cannot handle the current traffic load.

Some roads have been resurfaced, but widening or adding left-hand turn lanes to facilitate traffic movement has largely been ignored.

Select intersections have been increased to between six and eight lanes, but vehicles merge back into two lanes between intersections.

This causes an ongoing game of chicken between competing drivers who jockey for position. A road’s capacity is limited by its narrowest point.

We should be focusing on developing the park and extension of the River Parks trail system planned for the area, not a bridge.

 


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